Your child will take the Key Stage Two SATs towards the end of year 6 in May. More formal than Key Stage 1, these written tests (in English, maths and sometimes science) are 45 minutes long and can be quite daunting! The papers are sent away for marking and the results are known before children leave primary school in July.

Our SATs educational experts have written a complete set of Key Stage Two practice papers for you to download and do at home. We want to support your child to fearlessly tackle the SATs by helping them practise for some of the question types they will face. This is a great chance for your child to apply the knowledge and skills they have been building during their Explore Learning sessions and in school, and reflect on areas that they wish to further build upon.

 Practice and revision

 Develop skills

 Preparation and confidence

Overview of the SATs assessment papers

In May 2016, children in year 6 were the first to take the new Key Stage 2 SATS tests. The new style papers for English and maths reflect the latest National Curriculum, and are more rigorous than previous years’ tests. There is also a completely new SATs marking scheme and grading system which has replaced the previous National Curriculum levels.

As with the KS1 tests, the KS2 tests are taken in May. They are much more formal than those which children would have taken at the end of year 2. They are held on the same dates across the country under exam conditions and are externally marked.

In previous years, there was a separate level 6 SATs paper that the highest achieving children were entered for. This separate paper is no longer set, but the tests taken by every KS2 child will have questions that are designed to allow the higher attaining pupils to show their strengths.

KS2 SATs papers are taken in mathematics, English reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Date Activity
Monday 10 May 2021 English reading
Tuesday 11 May 2021 Mathematics papers 1 and 2
Wednesday 12 May 2021 Mathematics paper 3


Reading – one paper

The KS2 reading test is one paper containing comprehension questions based on three different genres of text. The test has a reading booklet and a separate answer booklet. Children will have one hour to read all three texts and complete the questions, which are worth a total of 50 marks.

In addition to the reading test, children’s writing is ‘teacher assessed’ based on writing completed in class. This will be set and marked by their teacher based on set criteria about what they can do in their writing and will not take place during the KS2 SATs week.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG)– two papers

Note: For the academic year 2020/2021 it has been decided that students will only take Paper 1  in English and they will not be required to take Papers 2 and 3.

This element of the tests requires children to identify and write sentences which have correct grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and spelling. This assesses children on their technical understanding of the English language as well as their writing ability. This comprises two papers:

  • Paper 1: This paper contains a series of SPAG questions requiring short answers. Pupils will have 45 minutes to answer the questions, which are worth a total of 50 marks.
  • Paper 2: This is a spelling paper in which the children are given a section of text with 20 missing words. The test invigilator will read out the test transcript for children to correctly spell the missing words in their answer booklet.  The test takes approximately 15 minutes, but is not strictly timed. The questions are worth a total of 20 marks.




Practice Questions


The maths test comprises two components, presented to pupils as three test papers:

  • Paper 1: This is largely an arithmetic test, assessing children’s grasp of mathematical calculations. The questions cover addition and subtraction and more complex calculations with fractions worth 1 mark each. They also cover long division and long multiplication questions worth 2 marks each. Pupils will have 30 minutes to answer the questions which are worth 40 marks in total.
  • Papers 2 and 3: These papers assess children’s mathematical fluency – solving mathematical problems and using mathematical reasoning. Both papers will contain varied question types including multiple choice, true or false, constrained questions (e.g. giving the answer to a calculation, drawing a shape or completing a table or chart)  and problem solving. Pupils will have 40 minutes to complete each test paper, each being worth 35 marks.


English practice papers


Reading booklet and answer booklet


Grammar, punctuation and spelling

Paper 1: questions


Grammar, punctuation and spelling

Paper 2: Spelling



Maths practice papers


Paper 1: arithmetic




Paper 2: reasoning



Paper 3: reasoning


How can Explore Learning help?

The KS2 SATs are probably the first experience your child will have of national testing in a formal way, as the test in KS1 is more relaxed. We are committed to making them a useful stepping stone into their new school and a great opportunity for building confidence and solidifying their learning.

  Every session is supporting your child towards their SATs

Our maths and English tuition programmes are mapped to the school curriculum, so your child is practicing the topics and skills that they need in each and every session that they spend with us. Regular attendance to the centre, and to your parents’ meetings, is already helping us tailor the programmes to get the best out of every session. If you want to see what this means for your child, ask about it at your next parents’ meeting.

  Workshops for children and information for parents

As well as the suite of workshops we offer all year round to support your children with particular skills or topics, we have four SATs tutoring specific workshops to help familiarise kids with the format and rigour of the tests, as well as help them practise exams and revision skills. These run in the February half term and the Easter holidays. Furthermore, for parents, we run information sessions on the SATs and the school curriculum to help you keep abreast of any changes.

Please speak to your centre to find out when these are running and to book on!

  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more advice

As well as your centre team being available for questions and support, we publish blogs from teachers, parents and experts on social media about exams, managing stress and keeping learning fun at home – feel free to follow us on Twitter or  Facebook.

  Beyond the SATs

Remember, the SATs are fleeting, but the biggest challenge your child will face this year is the transition up to secondary school. We recommend that you check out the Succeed in Secondary course – created specifically to support kids with this jump up by developing independence, group, and advanced study skills.

If you have more questions – give us a call!



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